A monument to preserve the memory and heritage of the former Haydock Cottage Hospital will be officially unveiled today at a special ceremony in Haydock.
Created from the original ornate arch stones which were located over the entrance to the building, the monument will be opened by the Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens, Councillor Joe Pearson and his wife Sylvia - while there will be performances from the Haydock Brass Band, which played at the laying of the foundation stone to the Cottage Hospital in 1886, and local folk singer, Martin Williams.
In July this year, Haydock ward councillor Martin Bond spoke of his pride after the entrance arch, as well as the 130-year-old foundation stone and a time capsule containing two annual reports of the hospital and copies of local newspapers, were given back to the council from current landowner, Issam Jabrow.
On sale of the land, the items rightly became his, but Mr Jabrow, who resides in Haydock, kindly agreed to hand over the items so that they can be permanently displayed in Haydock for residents - and family members of those miners who helped fund the hospital - to see.
Coun Bond said: “Haydock Cottage Hospital was founded in the aftermath of the Haydock Wood Pit disaster in 1878 where over 180 men and boys when killed.
“The mine owners built the hospital, but it was the subscriptions of the colliers and pit brow lasses, who earned half the wages of the men, that paid for medical treatment 60 years before Nye Bevan created the NHS.
“These subscriptions were paid in addition to their union subs.
“When the time capsule was opened, two of the contemporary newspapers in the capsule reported that the Haydock Brass Band had played at the foundation ceremony.
“It is therefore only fitting that they will take pride of place as we dedicate the monument, now that building has been demolished.
“Preserving our heritage to ensure that the sacrifices of those who built our town and society is vitally important.
“If we can’t always retain the physical reminders, then passing on the stories and memories to following generations becomes even more important.”
The ceremony will take place at 11am at its Clipsey Lane site.
All are welcome to attend.